Pia Fraus – Empty Parks

Photo by Joosep Volk

There are numerous traits which enthral attention within the new album from Estonian band Pia Fraus with with fascination leading the way. In its contrast lit body it offers an embrace of ears and imagination thick in melancholy yet is as life affirming and rich in hope and optimism as any heart could desire.  From its first to last shoegaze nurtured breath Empty Parks eagerly beguiled whilst presenting tracks just as keenly buoyant with contagious dreampop instincts.

Formed in 1998, Pia Fraus has crafted a potent sound and reputation across five studio albums and a host of similarly well and enthusiastically received EPs and singles not forgetting a wealth of shows and tours across Europe and further afield. Their new album, which the band declare their poppiest yet, sees the sextet of vocalist/synthist Eve Komp, vocalist/guitarist/synthist Rein Fuks, bassist Reijo Tagapere, synthist Kärt Ojavee, drummer Joosep Volk and backing vocalist Kristel Eplik linking up with producer John McEntire (Tortoise, The Sea and Cake, Stereolab, Broken Social Scene, Teenage Fanclub), himself a true musical inspiration to songwriter Fuks.

Empty Parks has emerged as one spellbinding encounter, a dreamy soulful whisper of pop magnetism sure to provide a warm knowing hug around any dark day whilst recognising the shadows such times bring. From the moment album opener Hidden Parks spread its pensive seduction Empty Parks was charming ears and senses. A soothing touch of keys is swiftly entangled in intoxicating strands spun by the guitar, rhythms a darker hue in the contemplation but just as encouraging with their catchy stroll. With the familiar and always beguiling mix of Komp and Fuk’s vocals, the song effortlessly slipped under the skin, the band’s expected but never dulled blend of female and male vocals rapture in its own right.

 An even paced enticement, the track makes for a transfixing start though the following Love Sports had body and attention quickly bouncing with greater urgency straight after; its pop virulence and melody thick mesmerism pure captivation. As with all tracks there is a delicious claustrophobic effect to the song’s temptation, an easy and whole immersion in its creative enchantment which never warrants a wish to escape in this song or the album as a whole.

Slow Boat Fades Out is next up, a track which shares the radiance and bearing of nineties bred shoegaze with the band’s distinctive character of touch and sound which is further lit up by that sublime vocal union while successor Mr. Land Freezer bounds in on a spirited canter drenched in a thick electronic mist. Both tracks share imagination stirring hooks and melodies which caress like lustful lovers and each with increasing dexterity had the body swinging as they slithered under the skin.

Across the wonderful Young Marble Giants meets The Pastels like graceful beauty of Sweet Sunday Snow and the similar tantalising of The New Water with something of an XTC air to its riveting pop enterprise, the album only tightened their hold on ears and pleasure with Paper Flower Projects adding its own substantial enticement. In comparison to its predecessors, it is almost rowdy in its energy and muggy in its breath but another provider of melodic and harmonic radiance around a rhythmic inducement which makes you want to dance within a web of guitar and bass fertility which grips ears and accentuates the pleasure.

If not quite inciting the passions as those before it, You’re Not in Love held attention firmly in its dextrous hands before Nice and Clever and Late Summer Night soon after shared their respective melancholy bound and increasingly tempestuous serenade and balmy yet similarly suggestively mercurial and intense proposal on ears, the latter with a captivating drone like quality.

Australian Boots brings Empty Parks to a close, the song a final absorbing caress which harbours its own emotive disturbance, one which openly and eagerly simmers but never quite erupts. The track is a joy of intrigue and intimation within an equally thrilling embrace and a fine end to a release which simply kept the real world at bay for forty five odd minutes.

Empty Parks is out now via Seksound / Vinyl Junkie; available @ https://piafraus.bandcamp.com/album/empty-parks

https://www.facebook.com/piafrausband   https://twitter.com/piafrausband

Pete RingMaster 05/03/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Scant Regard – You Know The Drill

Pic Dave Cox

If its predecessor, Skipping Over Damaged Area, was an exploration and echo of the “apocalyptic destruction and devolution of the planet we live on”, then You Know The Drill is the bold new adventure in its escape; a sci-fi toned tapestry of intrigue and contagion wrapped in sounds which just infiltrate and enliven the body and imagination.

You Know The Drill is the new creative exploit from Scant Regard, the solo project of Will Crewdson; guitarist/musician/songwriter previously acclaim notorious for his work with Rachel Stamp, Adam Ant, The Selecter, Johnette Napolitano, Bow Wow Wow, and Flesh for Lulu as well as currently one half of the equally irresistible She Made Me Do It. It is an encounter which still sows its seeds in the decay and destruction of the modern world but within its body ventures into the hope and relief brought through space lit, sci-fi cultured escapades. Crewdson’s previous offering, the deviously magnetic Skipping Over Damaged Area, felt like the corruption of hope and light by a creeping darkness. You Know The Drill is the reverse in many ways, bringing light and respite to the sunless breath of the world; both encounters casting trips of sonic poetry and rich intimation drenched in uncompromising infectiousness.

 You Know The Drill opens up with Ulterior Motives, electronic pulsing instantly nagging on ears and attention before rhythms collude to pitch immediate contagion upon the senses. In swift time Crewdson’s vocals join the hungry enterprise, the knowing deception of the song’s sarcasm springing greater catchiness by the second before saving its thickest dose of virulence for the delicious throaty bass led groove which breaks out.

The album’s title track follows, blues liquor fuelling its opening flames before a surf kissed breeze courts the controlled but pungent rhythms at its core. As the opener sprung a lure of descriptive intimation in its sound alone so its instrumental successor weaves an even more stirring sonic tale of drama and suggestion to play with before No More follows suit with its shadow wrapped stroll into ears and thoughts. Again every hook carries creative revelation for the imagination to conjure with; the track nurtured in the same suggestive espionage and danger which marked the best themes tunes of sixties and seventies TV shows such as UFO, Space: 1999, The Avengers or The Prisoner.

Its dark temptation is followed by the thickly enticing lures of Projectile Comet, bait which erupts in another of those riveting hooks and grooves which Crewdson has proven so irresistible and diabolical with across the years. The intergalactic hue of the track brings threat and adventure, the concussive rhythms at its heart chased by voracious riffs and intoxicating grooves in a mix which hungrily got under the skin, an infiltration being quickly replicated by the post punk incident that is the outstanding Calamity’s Creation. Bass and guitar unite to project an instant infiltration of theatre and seduction, vocals riding the groove wired hook lined incitement with matching lust bugging enterprise. There is something of The Monochrome Set to the track at times, the scent of Lester Square creative prowess aligning to the inimitable craft and imagination of Crewdson as another momentous moment within the album is cast.

The swarthy southern hues of Nevertheless bring another hug of instrumental suggestion straight after, ears and thoughts united in their swift embrace while both A Process of Illumination and Charmed I’m Sure share thick fascination with their respective electronic web of insinuation and industrial rock incitement, the latter a piece as aggressively imposing as it is mentally manipulating.

Rogue Prototype similarly draws on industrial instincts, its cyber hull the host for pop tempting and dark post punk menace. The track proved pure fascination in its breath and imputation, suspicion and drama soaking every note boiling and erupting in its tempestuous body before leaving Heart Torn Blood Ratio to bring the gripping release to a close. Melancholic beauty and solemn radiance coat every second of the brooding serenade as darker heavier throes of enterprise rumble in its depths; the track an enthralling end to an album which danced with the imagination and provoked eager attention from start to finish with rich pleasure the outcome.

Look up the definition of fascination and you find the likes of captivation, attraction, intrigue, magnetism and obsession as similar meanings and all thickly apply to the also gloriously art wrapped You Know The Drill, Scant Regard’s greatest moment yet.

You Know The Drill is out now digitally and on blue vinyl effect CD @ https://scantregard.com/store and https://scantregard.bandcamp.com/album/you-know-the-drill

http://www.scantregard.com   https://www.facebook.com/scantregardpage   https://twitter.com/scantregard   https://www.youtube.com/user/willcrewdson

Pete RingMaster 29/02/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Intimacy and the Roar: talking with Jack And Sally

Hi and thank you for sparing time to chat with us.

Could you first introduce yourself/the band and tell us how it came to be?

Prav-Like Fez from That 70s Show, I was given the name Prav by the band and yes, like Fez I am also an International student. I moved to London to play Rock ‘n Roll and met Ben and Josh in the winter of 2018. We formed the band shortly after.

Josh -I’m Josh, I’m play guitar for the band. I was originally going to join Ben’s old band but before I could, they fell apart! I went ahead and met Ben anyway, and we eventually found Prav from the musicians network group and as they say, the rest is history.

How would you define not only your sound but the creative character of the band?

Prav -The sound is probably best described as Green Day meets Rise Against. If the band had an alter ego, it would be a boy/girl in their early 20s who are at a critical point in their life. He/she would be experiencing feelings of love and loss, discovering how messed up and complex the modern world is and also finding their own passion for the good and genuine things in life.

Ben –Like Prav said, our song writing revolves around issues in real-life that regular people deal with on a regular basis –and just like everyone else, we do too.

Josh -Creatively I think we draw from a lot of disparate places but it blends well. I listen to a lot of harder stuff and I bring that into the songs we write. Ben’s vocals are mainstream sounding but he writes them into punk riffs, and Prav brings in his influences from grunge and hard rock into the drums.

You touched on previous musical experiences for band members, would you elaborate and suggest how have they been embraced in what you do now?

Prav -I used to play in a Funk Rock band back in India and played with another Hard Rock act in London for just over a year. I would definitely say that those experiences shaped what I play now for Jack and Sally.

Ben –I’ve played in bands in college. I was in a band in 2009 that was called Aisle Riot –we played one gig but my time in that band had a major influence on my life and showed me that I could be in a band –that I could actually do it.

Josh -I’ve been in bands since school but my last serious band was at university -Chance Encounter. We tracked a few songs, it was a pretty fun experience especially it was my first few times ever playing live in the U.K.

Is there a particular process to the band’s songwriting?

Prav-Ben or I write a song and bring it to the studio where we then fiddle around with our parts and start adding in ideas. Slowly but surely, the song starts taking shape as each of our styles pour in. Once we feel confident that this is how we want our audiences to listen to the song, we make a demo.

Ben -I write lyrics first, based on ideas I have in my head. The idea for our second single Macy came to me when I was on a train in Finland -from a graffiti image sprayed on a wall. It actually took me 6 years to write Tomorrow’s Revolution! Based on my influences in life, I’ve carried a lot of anger –and all of that inspired me write about a whole new world -that world is called ‘Nevernia’ –it’s what the EP is based around. Once I have finished writing the lyrics to a song, I’ll put some basic chords around it and then take it to the studio to work on, like Prav said.

Josh -We continually fiddle with our songs as well to improve it for live situations –Tomorrow’s Revolution for example sounds much different today than when we originally played it live, and it’s much better (in my opinion at least!)

Would you tell us about your latest release?

Ben –Our latest release is our EP, Who We Become!

Josh -It’s out everywhere to stream and buy from 11th November. We’ve also released two music videos for the singles on it, so check it out!

What are the major inspirations to its heart and themes?

Ben –Our EP is based on a concept, which follows the life of its protagonist ‘Macy’ who has grown up into a world plagued by issues like racism, corporate greed, austerity and oppression. It deals with how Macy stands up to these issues of modern day society.

I am always intrigued as to how artists choose track order on albums and EP’s and whether in hindsight they would change that. What has been the deciding factor for you?

Prav -The EP’s track order follows Macy’s journey. Superstar is her Father’s message to her that she doesn’t have to try too hard to make the world see that she is good. Nevernia is essentially a metaphor to describe the messed up world we live in and how Macy tries to traverse it. Tomorrow’s Revolution is about Macy’s rebellion after she realises that she needs to take drastic measures to bring about change. Long Way Home is about her feeling homesick and how she longs to go back to the people she loves. Macy is ultimately the story of how Macy’s loved ones mourn her loss.

What do you find the most enjoyable part of being in a band and similarly the most cathartic?

Prav -playing original songs that we made from the ground up on stage, touring and when people come and tell you that they had a sick time watching us play.

Ben –Being able to play our songs to people that they sing back at us is one of the most underrated achievements anyone could ever have. It’s beautiful, and seeing people believe in words that I wrote in my bedroom is truly unreal.

Josh -I’ll never get used to hearing people say they like our songs, but it’s definitely one of the best things about being in a band. Playing shows live as well -the adrenaline rush is unreal.

For anyone contemplating checking you out live give some teasers as to what they can expect.

Prav-thumping grooves, sick riffs and yes, be ready to sing with us!

Ben –We are loud, yes we are Pop Rock to the core, but you will hear Metal, you will hear Punk Rock and you will also want to dance to our tracks.

Josh -Riffs, solos, and some meaningful lyrics.

What has been your most thrilling moment on stage to date?

Prav -Probably at The Cavern, Exeter a few weeks ago. The place seemed so packed all of a sudden when we played All The Small Things. We couldn’t believe our eyes!

Josh -Yeah I’d agree with Prav -the Cavern show was mental.

Do you have live dates coming up?

Ben –We do, yes. We are booking our tour for April 2020, and some shows have already been confirmed.

What else can we expect in the near future?

Prav -More releases, probably some collaborations with other artists as well.

Ben –Definitely new music, but for now we’re focussing on our debut EP and getting a tour or two together.

What are the major inspirations to you sound wise and as a musician?

Prav -Green Day’s American Idiot, Audioslave, Velvet Revolver and Switchfoot.

Ben –Green Day is my favourite band, Linkin Park and Nirvana.

Josh -Soundwise -Blink-182, Paramore. Musician wise -Metallica, Enter Shikari.

And finally what song or release would you say was the spark to your passion for music?

Prav -Superunknown (Soundgarden)

Ben –Jesus of Suburbia (Green Day)

Josh -Master of Puppets (Metallica)

Many thanks guys once again!

Check out the review of Who We Become @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2019/10/09/jack-sally-who-we-become/

 

https://www.jackandsally.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/jackandsallyuk   https://twitter.com/jackandsallyuk

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 12/12/2019

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

The Sums – Better

Another band who found themselves caught up and severely losing out in the collapse of Pledge Music, The Sums persevered with the recording and release of their new album, Better, to bless the year with one of its finest and most irresistible collection of rock/pop songs.

It has been a tough time since their last album for the UK outfit, the death of lead guitarist Lee Watson hitting band mates, fans and indeed music hard but using his memory and enduring inspiration the Liverpool quartet forged ahead with long-time friend in guitarist Richy Northcote joining up with vocalist/guitarist Peter ‘Digsy’ Deary, bassist/vocalist Chris Mullin, and drummer Chris Campbell. As mentioned Better had its own trials and tribulations to face but has just been unveiled to light up ears and spirit with almost mischievous intent.

The album opens up with Kick Da Bucket, a rousing slice of rock ‘n’ roll with an edge to its voice and virulent groove to its character. With Digsy like a carny barker in the midst of its melodic carnival, hooks and melodies bring an enslaving swing to the song as rhythms dance and prey on a swiftly subservient appetite for its eager stomp. The track is superb but only a sign of things to come as Better unravels its web of enterprise, variety, and adventure.

Here To Stay is next up and immediately shares its own seductive melody to hook just as quick attention. Its gentle but assured swing is pure summer glee but as ever there is that shadow in word and tone which gives it an easily relatable grounding. Not for the last time across the release there is something akin to Hed PE meets Steely Dan to a song, a comparison which may only be heard in our ears but feels the best way to suggest the enthralling feel and presence of the infection escaping the speakers before All Messed Up brings its pop rock canter to bear on greedy ears. Already three songs in, the broad tapestry of sound and flavouring within the album is inescapable, the band providing their most diverse and fascinating release yet but it is still unmistakably The Sums in every aspect. With keys adding to its infectious weave the track joined its predecessor in hitting the spot in quick time.

The calmly thoughtful repose and serenade of Go is melancholic rapture urging people to reconnect with the world and each other, its orchestral breath and intimate touch captivating while I Run A Mile straight after provides a funk nurtured shuffle for body and voice to get eagerly involved in. Brass and keys smoulder across Mullin’s and Campbell’s rhythms, the rousing bass of the former almost sullen between the crisp swings of the latter as Digsy and Northcote spring their equally engaging prowess.

Though even after a wealth of plays, it has proven impossible to pick a favourite track but Give Me Something always figures to the fore in thoughts, the song viral in its rhythmic nagging and dirty rock ‘n’ roll breeding and simply beguiling in its pop catchy and melody rich croon. Nail us down and it would have to be the moment which brought the greatest lust but constantly challenged as shown by its immediate successor, Contraception Is Rife. With a country rock twang, the pop breathing balladry of the track is again full captivation which Nowhere Left But Home soon shares through its own distinct croon.

Better is brought to a close through firstly the glorious Cold One, it’s almost Lowry painted air enough to get the imagination weaving with the tones of Digsy and Mullin alone pleasure bound, and lastly Salt Of The Earth. The final track simply brings a smile to the face, its acoustic sway and vocal glee total captivation from which pure contagion erupts in a devilish chorus.

And that is Better, an album which brings a warm glow to the year’s cold closing weeks and confirmation that The Sums is one of Britain’s finest rock and pop bands which not enough people know about though that could and should all change now.

Better is out now through https://www.thesums.net/better-new-album-out-now/

https://www.thesums.net/   https://www.facebook.com/thesums/   https://twitter.com/thesumsmusic

Pete RingMaster 22/11/2019

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Magnapop – The Circle Is Round

Magnapop records have always been a sizzling sunspot in the pop rock galaxy and with the band’s first release in nearly a decade nothing has changed. The Circle Is Round is an unapologetically charming proposition but one with a punk growl in its lining and instinctive volatility giving it even greater drama in sound and imagination.

Released via the ever magnetic label, HHBTM Records, The Circle Is Round is the 1989 formed Atlanta-based quartet’s sixth album and the successor to 2009’s Chase Park. Majorly fertile in sound, releases, and acclaim in the mid-90s, Magnapop have embraced a lower profile over the past years since ‘reuniting’ in order to play a benefit gig for local record store, Criminal Records. That laid the seeds for the desire to write and record new material now resulting in the captivation that is The Circle Is Round.

It is fair to say that attention and appetite was immediately gripped by the album’s opening breath, the hook carrying lure of Dog on the Door instant persuasion to ears and body. Vocalist Linda Hopper’s tones prove just as swiftly enticing as crisp rhythms match the tempting of the guitar’s punk jangle; Ruthie Morris’ bait effortlessly verging on the addictive. Keys and the latter’s backing tones only added to the eager temptation with the darker grumble of Shannon Mulvaney’s bass and the senses clipping swings of drummer David McNair a matching incitement.

With a slightly calmer but no less infectious bounce Change Your Hair follows and equally had little trouble getting under the skin especially with its Buzzcocks-esque hook and warm melodic smile while A Simple Plan straight after, explores an even mellower gait whilst accentuating its inherent catchiness across a fuzz borne landscape graced with the magnetism of keys. There is a great nagging quality to it with the vocals of Hopper and Morris, as in its predecessor, contagious caresses on ears.

Super Size Me bowls in throwing its creative weight around next, its punk nurtured vitality and pop woven tenacity another moment breeding addiction before Need to Change has hips swaying and pleasure boiling with a contagion something akin to B-52’s meets Weekend meets Throwing Muses. Both tracks simply had the spirit and passions bouncing and alongside the album’s opener shared favourite track moment between them.

The raunchier rock ‘n’ roll of What Can I Do gave further food for thought on that choice, echoing the strength and undiluted temptation on offer across The Circle Is Round. As with most tracks, the coarser growl and punk irritability of rhythms and chords align perfectly, almost seductively with the melodic adventure of voice and Bruce King’s keys not forgetting the weave of melodic temptation also escaping Morris’ guitar enterprise.

Through the enchanting balladry of Rain Rain, a song with another animated gait as manipulative as the song’s emotive croon is bewitching, and the similarly buoyant and reassuring Disabled, band and album piled on more temptation to be captivated by with Rip the Wreck capping indeed eclipsing their vibrant success with its own frisky escapade cast with feral riffs and aggressively agile rhythms. The track is a riveting slice of uproarious rock ‘n’ roll but again an incitement skilfully and imaginatively tempered by the melodic and harmonic instincts within Magnapop.

The Circle Is Round is completed by a pair of previously unheard demos recorded in 1992; Leo and Pretty Awful two glorious untamed punk fuelled treats of Magnapop in its heyday. As the new album proves though, that zenith is still lingering in the creativity of the band, its songs and character deviously addictive and deliciously individual.

 The Circle Is Round is out now digitally, on CD, and on vinyl via HHBTM Records with a white vinyl deluxe addition also available@ https://www.hhbtm.com/product/magnapop-the-circle-is-round/

http://www.magnapop.com   https://www.facebook.com/magnapopband/

Pete RingMaster 15/10/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Jack & Sally – Who We Become

Formed in the winter of 2018, British alt rockers, Jack & Sally, are poised to badger eager attention with their debut EP, Who We Become. With a sound embracing the snarl of punk and contagion of pop to its rousing rock roar, the London based trio have already teased ears with a pair of well-received singles and it is easy to suspect they will find escalating praise with the unveiling of their next offering.

Who We Become is a concept record based around a character named Macy, an undefined figure who could be “anyone in this world” who becomes a major protagonist in “Nevernia”; a land that reflects the worst aspects of modern society.  The release opens up with Superstar, a song instantly drawing ears with its singular but potent guitar melody. Vocalist Ben Felix enriches that initial coaxing with his brooding bassline before adding his equally alluring vocals to the mix. Subsequently the gentle beginning ignites; guitarist Joshua Jacobs’s riffs and hooks casting an enticing fiery web within which the punchy beats of Pravir Ramasundaram pounce. By now metal and classic rock threads are colluding with punk and pop rock dynamics, the track merging the familiar with the adventurous and unpredictable.

It is a strong and stirring start soon eclipsed by Nevernia, a track baring its pop punk instincts and heart from its first spirited breath. Swinging rhythms and riffs burst from the speakers, the earthier tones of Felix as animated as the sounds providing the galvanic incitement around them. Again imagination and great twists add to the character and temptation of the song, moments of almost new wave like enterprise only adding to its stature and persuasion before Tomorrow’s Revolution steps forth with a more classic metal lined proposal but still with a pop infused punk ‘n’ roll breath to its rock holler.

Both tracks revel in the multi-flavoured breeding of the band’s sound, the fresh and familiar once more making a highly appealing proposition and riven by a strong vein of imagination as proven again by Long Way Home. The band’s new single, it is a more even paced encounter lit by keys and a melodic sway in music and voice, emotive flames lighting its invigorated balladry.

The EP closes with Macy, a song also coloured by emotion seeded keys, a piano bringing it into intriguing view before the song breaks into another lively slice of pop rock drama. There is something familiar about the track but an essence we have yet to define and one which only added to its contagious presence.

Who We Become easily gripped ears and attention from its first lungful of sound and endeavour; providing a great full introduction to a band which could be looking at rather rewarding horizons as they build on and evolve the release’s thoroughly enjoyable adventure.

The Who We Become EP is released November 8th through Engineer Records with new single, Long Way Home out October 11th.

https://www.jackandsally.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/jackandsallyuk   https://twitter.com/jackandsallyuk

Pete RingMaster 08/10/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Goodbye Mr MacKenzie – Good Deeds and Dirty Rags

Brandenburg photo by Martin Becker

Maybe like for many others, Goodbye Mr MacKenzie is a band which we did not pay enough attention to back when they were a potent part of a Scottish indie/rock scene lauded for the presence of bands such as The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Fire Engines, Simple Minds, The Waterboys, The Cocteau Twins and many others. The fair share of acclaim they earned was impossible to miss and a few familiar tracks, and more than we knew we knew it turns out, left a rich vein of pleasure in our personal musical journey. Funnily enough it was not the recent reforming of one of Scotland’s most iconic rock bands which has most strongly drawn us to the upcoming re-reissuing of their seminal album Good Deeds and Dirty Rags but the fact that one of our current favourite bands, The Filthy Tongues, consists of three of Goodbye Mr MacKenzie’s founders; that and the welcome urging of Shauna McLarnon of Canadian duo Ummagma.

Due for release this coming November and inspired by the massive success of their recent 30-year anniversary tour, Good Deeds & Dirty Rags has been re-mastered and comes with 3 additional tracks from those early years not previously included on the original edition. The band’s line-up at the time consisted of vocalist Martin Metcalfe, bassist Fin Wilson, and drummer Derek Kelly, the trio who have inflamed ears and the passions with their two albums as the aforementioned Filthy Tongues. Alongside them was guitarist John Duncan, previously of The Exploited, the future Garbage vocalist Shirley Manson, and Rona Scobie both providing keys and backing vocals. For the rest of the band’s potent history we will let you go search but there will be no finer way to set it off then through Good Deeds and Dirty Rags.

The album opens up with Open Your Arms, a track which swiftly hooks ears with its sweeping breath and magnetic jangle. Metcalfe’s vocals resonate with the expression and character which we are more familiar with within his current creative adventure as melodies, harmonies, and sharp hooks are woven into a slice of indie contagion. There is a Big Country like grandeur to the song at times and a gnarly edge to the bass which just hit a personal appetite, again something since keenly devoured with Wilson’s presence in The Filthy Tongues.

Wake It Up follows bringing a rousing roar to its composed stroll, every aspect fuelling an unapologetic catchiness which easily swept up eager attention. In some ways there is a larger than life hue to the song which reminds of The Associates but whether familiar with or new to the band through the album there is no denying Goodbye Mr Mackenzie had a distinct individuality.

The electronic hug of the especially enthralling His Masters Voice is just a big warm smile upon the ears but another track with a certain rock ‘n’ roll edge to it which erupts with vociferous voice throughout while Goodwill City is a drama soaked slice of anthemic temptation. It is a song set in climatic layers, each small but tenacious crescendo a rich incitement on spirit and involvement with its creative intrigue and emprise. One of their less familiar tracks before this release the song soon proved a firm favourite even as the riveting Candlestick Park swung its own shadow wrapped, melancholically spun seduction upon ears and imagination. The truth is the song easily matches anything on the release, its mesmeric and indeed haunting presence a siren of craft and sound.

The song, Goodbye Mr Mackenzie, is another which simply infests ears and appetite with its melodic audacity and fertile imagination. The earthy threads of guitar perfectly collude with the celestial breeze of keys and sighs of harmonies as marching rhythms firmly leave their galvanic imprint on the senses; another highlight re-introduced to ears before the band’s most famous track, The Rattler shares its masterful indie pop contagion.

Through the infectious creative animation of Dust and the glorious sonic theatre of You Generous Thing grinning pleasure only rises up, both tracks pure adventure for ears and imagination on

Goodbye Mr MacKenzie 2019 – photo by Karen Lamond

both sides of the speakers; both traits a persistent thrill across the release and echoed again within the equally superb Good Deeds. Straight away rhythmically it had us enslaved; Kelly’s agility and lures reminding of King Trigger before the rest of the band bring their own eager inventive exploits to the fascination of sound.

Good Deeds and Dirty Rags is completed by three demo tracks of Open Your Arms, Diamonds, and You Generous Thing; all from 1987 and each their own portion of thick temptation.

Though listening to the album inspires annoyance at not having embraced it well before now, it is a real treat to discover and you know what? It is not out of place or time within the current indie rock scene at all.

Good Deeds and Dirty Rags is released 2nd November via Neon Tetra Records.

https://www.facebook.com/GoodbyeMrMackenzie   https://twitter.com/gbmrmackenzie   http://www.goodbyemrmackenzie.com/

Pete RingMaster 27/09/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright